Torture reaches alarming levels in Burundi
From OMEGA SSUUNA in Bujumbura, Burundi
BUJUMBURA, (CAJ News) – BURUNDI intelligence services, policy and ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy youth have reportedly tortured and ill-treated scores of suspected government opponents in secret locations.
Rights groups report that detainees have been beaten with hammers and steel construction bars, driven sharpened steel rods into their legs, dripped melting plastic on them, tied cords around men’s genitals, and used electric shocks.
Detainees who were tortured or injured have reportedly been denied medical attention and many have been held in stinking, windowless cells.
“Politically motivated torture by the Burundian intelligence services has reached new levels and has become increasingly vicious,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Intelligence agents treat suspected opponents horrifically because they know they can get away with it. The government should call a halt to torture immediately.”
The rights group has requested the United Nations Security Council to deploy international police and set up an international commission of inquiry to investigate torture and other grave abuses.
The UN itself has reported 651 cases of torture in Burundi between April 2015 and April 2016.
Burundi was thrust into mayhem last year after President Pierre Nkurunziza clung on to power in violation of the constitution.
Hundreds have been killed during the crisis while over 250 000 have fled the central African country.
– CAJ News
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